Home' The Channel Magazine : N-view 2012 Contents N-View 2012
N-View asked Kevin Jenkins from Victorian book
wholesalers (Vbw) how he sees book retailing
changing in the newsagency sector. Vbw has been
supplying books to the newsagency channel for two
how has this year’s events in the book trade
affected your business?
With the demise of The Redgroup and Borders
we initially noticed a lot of negative publicity for
books being sold in retail outlets, mainly due to The
Redgroup’s excuse that online sales had put them
out of business. This is not necessarily the case.
After doing some research we found that although
books will sometimes be selling for a lower price on
the internet, once you add freight in most cases the
book becomes more expensive. Many newsagencies
have seized the opportunity in their retail precinct
where Angus and Robertson stores have closed by
either increasing the space allocated to books in their
store or taking over the Angus & Robertson store and
running a book clearance outlet on temporary leases.
Due to this our sales have remained robust over the
past 12 months.
have sales in newsagencies been holding up?
We have seen a slow decrease in sales in discount
fiction which has been a trend over the past few years
however children’s books have remained strong and
we have seen an increase in the need for good quality
coffee table books, especially in the categories of
travel, cooking, cars, militaria and sport. These books
make great gifts and, with people tightening their
belts, they see these as great value for money. Buy a
$75.00 gift for $25.00!
What do you expect for 2012?
2012 will definitely have its challenges and we believe
the best service and a continual stream of good
quality fresh stock will see books remain a strong
impulse buy product for newsagencies. Competition
in the remainder book side of our business has
increased since the demise of The Red group as
publishers who didn’t want to talk to companies that
provide books to the newsagency industry have now
turned their focus to this area. This and the strength
of the dollar has seen prices stay the same or in most
cases decrease making the price of remainders even
What are the advantages and positives about
tables on remainder books?
VBW has been supplying tables and sale stands for
over twenty years and has found that the stores that
utilise this service and display the books at the front
of the store enjoy strong sales. Remainder books are
predominantly impulse buy products in newsagencies
and what we have found is that newsagencies’
regular customers have become used to moving to
the remainder table once a week or so to see what
new bargain they can find. We recommend topping up
with fresh stock at least once a month so that stock
on the tables doesn’t become stale.
do you think more newsagencies will put in
books as specialist book shops close?
We have actually seen an increase in the past few
months in the number of new bookshops opening.
Both Dymocks and Collins bookshop chains
have actually increased their franchises through
independent Angus and Robertson stores joining
and new stores opening. some of these have been
newsagents attaching the bookshops to their stores.
I spoke to one owner who is about to open their
second newsagency/bookshop and he said it worked
perfectly for him where he was predominately busy
in the morning with the newsagency and then the
bookshop’s retail sales took over in the afternoon
reducing down time for his staff and it also gives the
customer another excuse to come into the store.
Are the sales of children’s books strong?
Children’s books have always been a consistent
seller for VBW. Parents never seemed to cut corners
when it comes to reading for their kids. Colouring
and activity and early learning books are increasing
in sales and we have found that people will buy
good quality children’s storybooks. Publishers are
becoming more and more creative when publishing
children’s books by making them more interactive
such as making them touch and feel or linking the
book to a web site.
Kevin commented: “With proper display and regular
stock rotations books are still a great way to increase
sales in a newsagency. With the downturn in the
economy and people tightening their belts, products
must show value for money. Remainder books provide
this. In most cases prices of remainder books haven’t
increased in 10 years. With display tables and stands
provided, stock pre-priced, merchandising, sale-or-
return and electronic invoicing available and margins
starting at 40%, VBW books are a cost effective and
high returning retail item for any newsagency.”
Many newsagencies have
seized the opportunity
Links Archive November-December 2011 National Newsagent February 2012 Navigation Previous Page Next Page